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housing

Marcie Sillman talks with The Atlantic magazin's senior editor Derek Thompson about his article, "The Miracle of Minneapolis."

Mayor Ed Murray has released new proposals to combat homelessness in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Romi Chiorean (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about the issues of affordable housing and homelessness in Seattle.

Sahra Farah and volunteers at the Somali Community Center hope development around Rainier Beach station will bring jobs to the neighborhood, where she says young people struggle to find employment.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Puget Sound region hopes new growth will spring up in urban villages clustered around mass transit. The goal is to avoid further congestion.

Yet in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, where light rail has been running for over five years, development has been slow to come. 

Back in 2012, something unusual got started in an alleyway in an already tightly developed part of northeast Washington, D.C.

On an 11th-of-an-acre lot next to a cemetery, behind a block of row houses, tiny houses started to go up. And not just one little house in backyard, like you might see in many places. The builders billed this as an urban tiny house community.

Ordinance Limits Rent On Seattle Micro-Housing Units

Feb 24, 2015
Sara Bernard / KUOW

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Monday that would limit the rent on some micro-housing units. These “efficiency” apartments are smaller than traditional studios.

This is an adjustment to a program that gives developers a tax break for offering some units to low-income renters. But some developers say this is going too far.

File photo. apartment housing apt door
Flickr Photo/Matthew Piatt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to news analyst Joni Balter about the progress the Housing Affordability and Livability Committee has made since it was formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in September.

Ross Reynolds talks with Stephen Norman, executive director of King County Housing Authority, about the affordable housing crisis in King County.

File photo. apartment housing apt door
Flickr Photo/Matthew Piatt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you are looking for more evidence of a housing crisis in King County, here it is.

Officials at the King County Housing Authority report a flood of people applying for federal housing assistance.

On Wednesday, after a four year hiatus, the authority once again began accepting applications for the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, more commonly called Section 8.

Zillow And 'The New Rules Of Real Estate'

Jan 29, 2015

In the latest installment of our new series of conversation with leaders, called View From The Top, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

Crowds of homeless people often gather on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle near social-service providers.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The ranks of the homeless continue to swell in King County. An overnight count found 3,772 people living on the streets — a 21 percent increase since last January.

Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across the county in the wee hours of Friday morning to take count of the region's rising homeless population.

Flickr Photo/PJMixer (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar about how the influx of people to Seattle has caused housing prices region-wide to skyrocket, even in rural areas.

Rising Rents In 2014 Led By Small Cities

Jan 6, 2015

Average rents increased across the country by 3.6 percent in 2014, according to new data from the real estate research firm Reis, Inc. The average monthly lease rate is now $1,124.38, the highest number since Reis started collecting data in 1980.

It’s the fifth year in a row that rents have been on the rise, but this year rent increases affected residents in smaller and midsize cities, and not just the largest cities in the U.S.

Across the Northwest, some families will spend Christmas in rented mobile homes where the living conditions are marginal at best and dangerous at worst.

Larry Jametsky and Christina Stewart back at home in SeaTac, Wash., Dec. 2014
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Larry Jametsky lost his home in SeaTac through a “foreclosure rescue” scam. He and his family were homeless for years while his case made its way through the courts.

But last February, the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his case should be reexamined. Two months later, Jametsky got his house back.

In 2008, Jametsky signed what he thought was a loan, but he’d actually sold his house for a fraction of its value. What he thought were loan payments were in fact rent payments.

KUOW Photo/Matthew Streib

Marcie Sillman talks with Roxanne Fonder Reeve, who, along with a slew of volunteers, is building a trash studio in her Columbia City driveway to teach people how they can build environmentally sustainable housing out of found materials.

The Eastside Dabbles With Affordable Housing

Nov 24, 2014
Redmond barber Young Choi discusses the changing face of Redmond with client Kurt Link.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle has struggled to provide affordable housing, and now suburbs are grappling with the same problem. Cities on the Eastside have been updating zoning laws to encourage more affordable housing. But critics say those cities should press developers for more.

Hill’s Barber Shop has been serving people in Redmond for more than 40 years. Last year, Young Choi, an immigrant from South Korea, bought the business.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Rents are rising sharply in Seattle, and the city has launched another effort to tackle the shortage of affordable housing.

At an Ethiopian community center in the Rainier Valley, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's new affordable housing committee tried Wednesday night to take the pulse of a community hit hard by housing costs.

The 28-member committee's first open house began slowly as a consultant showed the multicultural audience how to use handheld electronic clickers to take part in an instant survey.

Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar about a Seattle City Council proposal to charge developers of new residential and commercial buildings a linkage fee to fund affordable housing.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

In 2005, housing advocates in King County announced a plan to end homelessness within a decade.

Since then, the community has produced 5,600 units of permanent housing for the homeless, more than anywhere in the U.S. except New York and Los Angeles. This year alone, more than 2,000 formerly homeless people have moved into permanent housing.

Joshua McNichols / KUOW

Sharon Lee of the Low Income Housing Institute stands on the back deck of the Denny Park Apartments in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

She counts cranes: "One, two, three, four, five, six." And that's just on this side of the building.

Amy Radil

The Seattle City Council is poised to approve new regulations governing microhousing. The bill would set new minimum requirements for tiny apartments and dorm-style projects. Developers say the regulations would kill off these projects entirely.

Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Alan Durning, executive director of the Sightline Institute, about how zoning policies affect affordable housing in Seattle.

Marcie Sillman talks with Q13 Fox political analyst C.R. Douglas about Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's newest commission on affordable housing. 

KUOW/John Ryan photo

A homeless camp has popped up on a busy sidewalk in Seattle’s University District. Members of the small tent community say 20 people live here.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Just off Aurora Avenue in North Seattle is a rather gray looking apartment building owned by Seattle Housing Authority.

Single mother Rebecca Snow Landa lives there with her two kids. She shows me around. "So this is our piano that we’re very proud of, and I’m teaching my kids to play."

Flickr Photo/Deborah Austin (CC-BY-ND-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with director of Bellevue's planning and community development department, Chris Salamone, about rising rents in Bellevue and the future of housing on the Eastside.

Flickr Photo/jseattle

Developers who build tiny apartments in Seattle may soon be working under a new set of city rules.

The Seattle City Council gave initial approval Tuesday to a host of new regulations that would govern everything from the minimum size of units to bicycle and car parking requirements.

The Chinese real estate developer Landsea plans to invest $1 billion in the U.S. housing market, according to the company. “The Chinese housing market is slowing down. In the U.S., it’s coming up,” said John Ho, managing director of Landsea’s U.S. subsidiary, yesterday.

Michael Regan of Bloomberg News spoke to Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about how the developer will start with three projects — one in California’s Simi Valley, another near San Francisco and a third outside of Manhattan.

Bank Of America's Penalty: As Big As It Seems?

Aug 22, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about the almost $17 billion settlement against Bank of America and why it's not as big as it seems.

Buffalo Abandoned Homes Selling For $1

Aug 19, 2014

Like many cities, Buffalo, New York, is facing a glut of abandoned homes and lots. There are roughly 16,000 vacant lots and 4,500 vacant homes throughout the city.

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1. They’re calling it the Urban Homestead Program. The program requires that residents have the ability to make necessary repairs, and commit to living in the home for at least three years.

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